Exactly how does that Bible verse go?
Is it “in everything give thanks…”
or is it “for everything give thanks…”?
I better go find the exact verse I am thinking of…otherwise it will hound me all day! 😉
1 Thessalonians 5:18
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I have to be honest and tell you that I don’t always feel thankful.
On nights that homework with my children turns into a 3+ hour ordeal, I don’t feel thankful.
When I was told that my son had autism, I didn’t feel very thankful.
When I was first divorced, I definitely was NOT thankful.
God expects us to cycle through different emotional states because we’re human and He understands us better than we do ourselves!
Cycling through strong emotions such as anger, fear and sadness is a normal part of being a parent or caregiver.
In fact, many of us will cycle through intense emotions over and over again as our children grow up.
At each age, our children will meet important milestones in their development.
With these successes, however, will come reminders of the milestones that they have not yet, and may never reach.
For me, that has been the most difficult part of parenting.
I have had to watch helplessly as my children have had to struggle with issues such as, suicide, divorce, abuse, abandonment, bullying, autism, etc.
I often felt like such a failure because my choices had contributed to the pain that they were experiencing.
As a result of our painful experiences, I have cycled through such emotions as guilt, regret, insecurities, fear, and depression.
But as I look back on those dark years that we experienced as a family, I can now only feel a deep sense of gratitude.
I feel grateful because we are now five of the strongest, most determined, faith filled people I know.
My children and I all have a faith that can withstand the pressures of life because we don’t wonder…we KNOW that the Lord is faithful in keeping his promises to his children.
And, as a parent, that gives me super- human strength.
Knowing in our hearts that all things are possible with God doesn’t mean that we won’t feel a twinge of despair every now and then.
What’s important is that we don’t allow these emotions to dictate how we interact with and dream for our children.
The key to successful “faith-parenting” is to discover things about your child and family to celebrate and be thankful for.
Though not always obvious, there is always something to be thankful for!
Maybe it’s the way your child smiles at you when you kiss him or her goodnight.
Or, perhaps, it’s the reassuring hug, that your now adult son, gives you just when you need it most.
Another thing that I have come to realize and be thankful for are “the little things” that have happened in our lives.
It is the ordinary things that happen every day that make life precious.
Learning to live in the NOW, and following the advise that we read of in ( Matthew 6:34) which says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Will enhance your experience as a parent in ways you can only dream of.
Use your faith to continue to give God thanks for all that He has done in your life, in spite of any difficulties that you may be experiencing.
I’ve often prayed and told God that I was going to call upon his promise that he gives us in (Romans 8:28) Which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I am thankful for His presence in the midst of my circumstances. Because just knowing that, even in my trials, he is working miracles for us, gives me the strength I need to keep pressing forward.
Without that knowledge, fear would have won the battle in my life long ago.
And, because I know that God loves my children more than I ever can, I know that He will assist me as their parent whenever I kneel down and ask Him to do so.
Faith believes and expects the impossible!
Without faith, I do not know how anyone can survive the trials and triumphs of parenting.